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opinion • 10 


• gateway ■ WWW.lWCA!ftt#n)NllNB.€A ■ January 30,2013 


Online prostitution not a tuition solution 



The story of students struggling 
through college and scrambling to 
pay for basic necessities is nothing 
new. But it's recently been acknowl¬ 
edged in the public eye that a sur¬ 
prisingly high number of students 
have used an unfortunate approach 
to break free of this vicious post-sec¬ 
ondary cycle: sugar daddies. This 
method of income represents the 
flaws in our patriarchal society, as 
it's just another way through which 
women degrade themselves, when 
they cant support themselves due 
to high tuition fees and poor money 
management. 

To clear up any misconceptions, 
a "sugar daddy” is defined as a 
"wealthy, middle-aged man who 
spends freely on a young woman 
in return for her companionship or 
intimacy." The University of Alberta 
ranks in the top five Canadian uni¬ 
versities as one of the fastest-grow¬ 
ing sugar baby schools according to 
new sign-ups in 2012 on a website 
called seekingarrangement.com. 
Although these are sign ups, and it 
doesn't necessarily mean women 
will find a sugar daddy, it shows 
that these women are prepared to 
enter this type of relationship. And 
this list only takes into account the 
new users on one site, so it's hard 
to know how many women in total 
maintain a sugar baby /sugar dad¬ 
dy relationship. Essentially, these 
young women rely on the financial 
aid of an older man in exchange for 
a sexual relationship. 


Although seekingarrangement. 
com is presented as warm and is in¬ 
viting, and introduced on the home 
page as perfectly acceptable, one 
needs only to take a closer look and 
read between the lines to recognize 
this as a disguised form of prosti¬ 
tution. with the website acting the 
part of the pimp. And although 
some women may legitimately 
want to enter into a prostitution 
type relationship with men, no fe¬ 
male university student should feel 
like that is their only option. For the 
throngs of people cooing that this 
is merely an escort service, they 
need to open their eyes and take 
a closer look. I guarantee it won't 
take long. If you're wondering why 
men in their mid thirties to late fif¬ 
ties are interested in paying tens of 
thousands of dollars to women — 
primarily between age 18 and 28 — 
annually, the answer is simple: sex. 
These men aren't financing women 
for the dinner conversation, but for 
the implied intercourse that will be 
exchanged for hefty checks. Despite 
the initial jokes and a chorus of 
sarcastic, “Well, why didn't I think 
of that one?” comments, the 125 U 
of A students trying to gain one of 
these arrangements presents a very 
serious situation. 

One of the largest issues con¬ 
cerning “sugar daddies" is that it 
solidifies patriarchal relationships 
in society. At the U of A, many stu¬ 
dents don't have the subject of gen¬ 
der equality even cross their mind. 
However, this new awareness about 
the numbers of women maintain¬ 
ing sugar daddy/sugar baby rela¬ 
tionships is just one of the many 
reminders that gender inequality is 
an issue swept under the carpet and 
forgotten. 

Although these women are 


avoiding the stress of working nu¬ 
merous jobs and will have a bet¬ 
ter chance of being debt free after 
graduation, the means they use to 
avoid these instances leads back to 
the price tag on education. The cost 
of tuition and books are too high for 
students who don't have financial 
help from parents, or the luxury of 
home-cooked meals every night 
The cost of living, which is continu¬ 
ally on the rise, only compounding 
the matter further. 


Although 
seekingarrangement. 
com is presented as 
warm and inviting, and 
is introduced on the 
home page as perfectly 
acceptable, one needs 
only to take a closer look 
and read between the 
lines to recognize this 
as a disguised form of 
prostitution, with the 
website acting the 
part of pimp. 

It’s not surprising that many 
women are looking for alternate 
means by which to get through 
university, because it's not easy. Al¬ 
though the U of A claims it's acces¬ 
sible to anyone, this is only true in 
theory, not practice. 

A further problem is that af¬ 
ter students struggle through a 
four-year Bachelor's degree, they 
are no longer guaranteed a job 


post-graduation. In many fields, a 
Bachelors degree is considered a 
minimal asset, and not enough to 
get a job. In these instances, young 
women push themselves to main¬ 
tain sugar daddy/sugar baby rela¬ 
tionships for a few years to come. 
Instead of getting a high-paying 
job, grads often have to work long 
internships with minimal or no pay, 
or end up waiting tables while wait¬ 
ing for job opportunities to arise. 
Another unfortunate side effect is 
that if these women tire in a sugar 
baby/sugar daddy relationship for 
a significant period of time, it could 
rob them of crucial work experi¬ 
ence — making them bad potential 
candidates for future employers. 
Although they no longer have to 
pay for school, they are not yet self- 
sustainable, giving them a motive 
for maintaining the relationship. 

High tuition and living expens¬ 
es are unavoidable problems for 
any student, but one of the big¬ 
gest problems lies with the women 
who are willing to take on one of 
these relationships. Four summer 
months with no school is a signifi¬ 
cant chunk of time, as well as an 
opportunity, to make money. Count¬ 
less summer jobs are up for grabs, 
and many of them pay well, which 
is surely enough to help sustain stu¬ 
dents when school starts up again. 
There shouldn't be anything stop¬ 
ping these women from obtaining 
one of those summer jobs. 

The U of A needs to take a long 
look at what means women are tak¬ 
ing to ensure their financial and 
scholastic success, but at the same 
time, women engaging in these 
relationships need to re-prioritize 
their lives and look at how to man¬ 
age and make money in the right 
places. 


the marble 

pedestal 

COMPILED 8V Michael Ross 


People often ask each other what 
they would do if they could be 
completely anonymous and never 
get caught. Some people might 
rob a bank or cheat on an exam, 
and generally the question is 
interpreted in a negative context 

But a group of students on 
campus, using only Facebook, 
have shown that given the 
opportunity for anonymity, stu¬ 
dents would do something com¬ 
pletely different: compliment 
each other. If you haven't heard 
of the Facebook profile UofA 
Compliments yet, it's definitely 
worth checking out. 

The page now has more than 
1,000 connections with U of A 
students, and has facilitated 
hundreds of anonymous compli¬ 
ments between students. These 
short messages that people may 
not have normally shared with 
each other are often met with 
bewildered amusement, and are 
virtually guaranteed to make 
someone's day. 

Originally started as an anti¬ 
bullying project, the group has 
been rapidly adopted by students 
on campus, and shows that often 
the best way to raise people's 
spirits come from the absolute 
simplest ideas. 

The Marble Pedestal is a semi-reg¬ 
ular feature where we talk about 
things we like. That's why the 
pedestal is made out of marble 
— because it’s fancy. There's also 
a nice fancy cloth on the pedestal 
that's purple and feels like velvet. 


online al IHEGAIE WAYOMUHE.CA 



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gateway 

opinion 

It’s all about perspective. 

MEETINGS WEDNESDAY AT 5 IN 3-04 SUB 


"Living next to you is in 
some ways like sleeping 


an e 


* IN CONTEXT: 

Trudeau was describing Canada's relationship with America.